Guidelines for Winter Recreation near Wolverine Dens in Montane Western North America


  • Doris Hausleitner Seepanee Ecological Consulting and Selkirk College
  • Andrea Kortello Grylloblatta Ecological Consulting,
  • Mirjam Barrueto University of Calgary
  • William Harrower BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
  • John Krebs Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development,



wolverine dens, winter habitat, denning


Wolverine den in snowy areas with boulders or woody debris at or below tree line in montane western North America. They have naturally low reproductive rates, a fidelity to denning areas, and a sensitivity to human presence during denning. The goal was to synthesize existing ecological information for denning wolverine and identify risks from human presence in the categories of timing, distance, footprint, pattern of use, and frequency of use. The authors suggest commercial tenure holders and private users keep recreation in the low-risk category to minimize disturbance on denning females. Denning area surveys should be conducted prior to tenure application or renewals and dens can be identified by a concentration of tracks over more than three weeks from January 15 to May 15. Recreation should be restricted within a 5-km radius of confirmed dens during this window. Best practices include limiting the number of groups and concentrating movement on existing linear features as wolverine are sensitive to disturbance at a very low intensity of use and are at greatest risk when disturbances are dispersed and unpredictable.

Author Biographies

Doris Hausleitner, Seepanee Ecological Consulting and Selkirk College

Doris is owner/ operator of Seepanee Ecological Consulting and has seventeen years of experience in wildlife research, specializing primarily on threatened and endangered species. She is also an instructor of applied biology / ecology at Selkirk College.

Mirjam Barrueto, University of Calgary

Department of Biological Sciences

John Krebs, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development,

Director of Resource Management, Kootenay Boundary Region






Wildlife Habitat Decision Aid